Ambitious plans for 3 new HDB projects

From lush spaces for neighbourly bonding to cycling trails for healthy living, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan promised that each new Housing Board project would be a cut above the rest.

"Every new town must be better than the previous one," he said as he unveiled plans for the upcoming Bidadari, Tampines North and Punggol Matilda districts yesterday.

These projects will yield 35,000 public homes and 5,000 private units in stages over the next 10 to 15 years. While prices have not yet been released, Mr Khaw gave a glimpse of the amenities which will be on offer.

Bidadari, which will offer 10,000 public homes ranging from studio apartments to five-roomers, will have a man-made lake inside a 10ha park which will be a tenth of the estate's size.

Punggol Matilda will include an elevated, landscaped deck with verandahs, colonnades and a pavilion resembling the iconic Matilda House, after which the district is named. The south-western Punggol district, which will have 8,000 HDB units, will also have boulevards leading to a new waterfront shopping centre.

At Tampines North, which will eventually have 17,000 HDB flats, residents can unwind at a new shopping centre, which will be integrated with the bus interchange, or at the estate's two parks. A pond with a sandy beach is also on the cards, a nod to the area's past sand quarries.

Each town will have several common amenities, including public spaces such as community gardens, where residents can mix with one another, said Mr Khaw.

"They create a quality living environment where families and communities can grow."

These new estates will feature more greenery. At Bidadari, for instance, a canopy of mature trees along a stretch of Upper Aljunied Road will be preserved, and the road itself will be converted into a pedestrian walkway.

Cycling and pedestrian networks will also be a part of every new town, to promote healthy lifestyles. "We will look after the interests and safety of pedestrians and cyclists... We will encourage more to cycle and walk rather than drive," said Mr Khaw.

All future towns will also be energy efficient and have separate chutes for recyclables, he added at the launch of an exhibition yesterday featuring these plans at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh. It runs till Sept 15.

Punggol Matilda's new homes will be the first to be launched, with 500 three- and four-room flats on offer during next month's Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise.

Tampines North's initial batch of BTO flats will go on sale in the second half of next year, followed by Bidadari's in 2015.

Blocks in these areas will be up to 17 storeys high. Details will be available closer to the launches.

charyong@sph.com.sg